|Re: Cohousing definitions continued||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Kevin Wolf (kjwolfdcn.davis.ca.us)|
|Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 01:18:20 -0500|
Rob Sandelin wrote" > >What is Unique about cohousing? What sets it apart from other forms of housing >and condos? I see that uniqueness as the combination of five elements: 1. >it's resident conceived and driven, 2. Its goal is to create a closer >community of neighbors by design, 3. It has democratic form of governance, 4. >homes are owned by individuals, 5. it's run and maintained by the residents. > Interesting discussion. I've appreciated all the back and forth on this. I believe that being able to name something, to provide it with a unique and clear definition helps increase its power. When we were at 4 houses in 1988 and Linda Cloud read the cohousing book, we had a name for what we wanted to become. It was a powerful step forward. I think the energy spent in clarifying the definition of cohousing is important. Here are my thoughts in reference to what Rob has written. I agree with the basic concept of 1 and 2 though at N Street only a few of the existing residents conceived of the community. Regarding 2, I would like to add something goes beyond "closer community of neighbors" to encompass the sense of belonging to an extended family where one's sense of belonging is so strong that it gives everyone more strength and energy to achieve their personal missions. 3. So far most (all?) cohousing communities I know of strive for consensus. I would like to add this in as it may be a fundamental difference between some religious based "co-housing" communities that might encourage consensus decision making because, they are more orthodox and hierarchical in structure. 4. I don't care how the houses are owned because we have some great examples in towns where co-ops are owned by non-profits. We could conceive of a home in the community being owned by one of these non-profits. The problem comes with voting if it meant that the non--profit could block our consensus as opposed to the people living in the house. We have 3 absentee landlord owned houses and I would not want these types of relationships to be excluded from cohousing either. 5. "Run and maintained by community" seems pretty fundamental. Where does sharing meals and work together fit in? As strategies for Number 2. Would it be cohousing if the community had a once a month potluck and never worked together as a community? Does a common house/common eating area fit into this? I know that in the early days of N ST and Sharingwood we didn't have our common house together. We at outside in the summer and in a garage in the winter. Yet we did eat together. Hmm. I agree that cohousing should have a clear definition that defines it differently than communes, co-ops and home owner associations. Robs 5 points could almost have been an advanced condo/home owner association community yet the ones I know of don't fit into cohousing because they don't work to really make the interdependence part of cohousing be a priority. Hope this helps. Kevin Here's my shot at it. 1. Residents in cohousing want to create a community where they grow in interdependence, Kevin Wolf & Associates - Consensus Facilitation 724 N Street - Water On-Line Project Davis, CA 95616 - Strategic and Watershed kjwolf [at] dcn.davis.ca.us Planning Phone 916-758-4211 - Director, Bizline, Inc. Fax 916-758-2338 http://www.bizline.com http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/go/kjwolf
Cohousing definitions continued Rob Sandelin, September 16 1997
- Re: Cohousing definitions continued Kevin Wolf, September 16 1997
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